10 Tips for Crushing Your 1st Century

100 miles. It’s a huge milestone for every cyclist and can be equally as intimidating. For seasoned vets it may just be another day in the saddle, but for you, it’s your first one. Maybe it’s your 5th one, but you really want a good performance. The questions and doubts start creeping in.

Fear not! You’ve come to the right place! With these 10 Tips, you’ll not only be on your way to completing, but crushing your next 100 miler!

Enough with the drama, let’s get this thing going!

  1. Proper Pacing: It’s easy to start out like Superman and finish like a zombie. Start much easier than you think you should, and keep riding easier than you think you should, until you hit the 30 mile to go mark. From there you’ll have a good feel for how much you have left in the tank and you can choose how to regulate your effort until the finish line.
  2. Stay on top of nutrition: Your body is going to need plenty of fuel for this undertaking. If you rely just on stored muscle glycogen and fat stores, you’re going to be in trouble! Unless you already have a very specific nutrition plan, shoot for 250-300 calories per hour, replacing electrolytes, and make sure you’re hydrating with at least one bottle of fluid per hour. Of course, this can change based on the temps.
  3. Solid pre-ride meal: Make sure it’s something your body can tolerate. Since you’re going to be starting out easy (see point 1), you should be able to consume this meal around 30-60 minutes before start time.
  4. Take care of your backside: Get out of the saddle and stretch your back on downhills and any time you’re coasting. See more on backside protection with point 5.
  5. Booty cream: Yeah, not sure how else to put it, but make sure you’re lubing up the nether regions with some Chamois Butt’r, DZ Nuts, Assos Chamois Cream, or something similar. It helps decrease the rubbing and chafing, making for a more pleasant experience.
  6. Pay attention to cadence: Cadence should be a little higher during harder efforts like hill climbs. Your goal is to save your muscles until the last hour. Higher cadence allows for lower watts per pedal stroke, which helps to save those legs.
  7. Draft off others: Unless you’re goal is to knock this out solo, you should look to share the workload with other riders. If you’re in a big group, don’t be afraid to “sit in” and draft until later in the ride. Make sure you take advantage off maximizing your draft and minimizing your workload by placing yourself behind the larger people in your pack. Pay attention to the wind and make sure to put yourself on the correct side (left, center, right) of the wheel in front of you so you are opposite the wind.
  8. Look to stay efficient: Think about keeping a smooth pedal stroke, staying relaxed, maintaining good body position, and breathing properly. All of these factors together will really help increase your performance on the ride!
  9. Know the route: If there are big hills, make sure you’re keeping energy in reserve for those efforts. Is it going to finish with a downhill? Headwind? Knowing the course is going to allow you to better ration out your effort.
  10. Enjoy the ride! The more fun you’re having, the more relaxed you’ll become. Chat with the people around you. Stay social. As the saying goes, “Time flies when you’re having fun.”

All that’s left is to get out and own that thing! If there are any tips that you would like to add, leave them in the comments below!

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